I was at a tackle shop near the bay last week and they were already selling bowfishing x bows. They must have had good intell or just a good gut feeling. I would bowfish alligators or sharks with one but not numbers of stuff. Long night of cocking.
Many stores already thought they were legal since the "hunting" guide says they are legal for any game. I even asked at Jay's why they had crossbow bowfishing gear and the guy I talked to said they were legal to use. I didn't debate it with him. That was before the bill even passed the senate.
There is a lot of confusion regarding this bill, so just to be clear, it is still ILLEGAL to use a crossbow for bowfishing in Michigan. Bowfishing is not considered as hunting, therefore, the hunting rules do not apply. That is why the bowfishing regulations are found in the fishing guide- not the hunting guide. Also, just because this bill passed, that does not make it legal yet. If you read the print for this bill, you'll see that it simply gave our NRC the ability to add crossbows to the legal method of harvest. The bill clearly states:
The department may issue an order to regulate the taking of fish with a spear, or bow and arrow, or crossbow in the waters of this state.
Therefore, in order for crossbows to become legal for bowfishing, the fisheries order will need to be amended. This issue will have to be brought up and discussed by the warmwaters committee. Then, fisheries order 219 will need to be amended, voted upon, and signed by the director. This is the same process that was just followed last year when the order was amended. Until you open the fishing guide and read that crossbows are legal to use for bowfishing, they are not legal. Please pass the word.
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